The Minor Epic of the Siren and the Sailor

by Jordan Walker

I

And there she rests, alone at last,
silver scales reflect her gloom
amidst the rocks and broken mast
I am certain of her doom

My maiden love, with seafoam hair,
I approach and say to thee:
“Fear naught my dear, and have no fear,
for I will set you free!”

“Far west to go, my sailor boy
where the sun does never set,
find you there the witch’s ploy
which cast this dreadful ’net’.”

A tired sigh and look so weary,
though I took her words to heart
“Far west I’ll go to the Eirie
where no man dares to chart!”

 II

The trees are thick and grey and bare
The sun forever dim
Here are many tiny things
That make this forest grimme

“I do not fear your Faerie’s tricks!
Hear my voice and know:
I am the bravest of the sailor boys;
A soul you’ll never sow!

With sword and shield I fight them all
Her tail within my mind
But the magic song, so sweet and dear,
makes Her so hard to find

“Young sailor lad, my boy so sweet,
why not give your love to me?
That washed up girl with hair so curled
will drown you in the sea”

“Here, my Prince, are girls so fine
so much fruit to bear;
a fool you’d be, to pass up me,
to live without a care.”

I shook my head and raised my sword
Though the offer did quite tempt me,
and cast the blade in to the glade
now with no voice, so empty.

III

Far west I did go, as I well know
But the gods had other plans
My sails were full, my ship in their hands
the northern wind did blow

Far North, Far North!
The icey lands of Skald
Strange girls and boys and men so bald
A journey I set forth

No monsters here, or so I thought
Just people wrapped in fur
The language hard, among the Kur
But a guide I still bought

A tricky girl, so pale like cream
Eyes like ice, I wonder
Could she tear this soul asunder?
It was her, at night, I would dream

I wanted South, I tried to say
But she had other plans
She wanted other lands!
So all her kingdom would be for play

At night we lay, amid the furs
Her touch so icy cold
I thought I might be bold
To reach for what was hers

My hands touched air; this nightly ghast!
She shrieked a banshee’s cry
I thought I might die
Cold steel, of course, slew the girl and freed me at last

East I’ll go, for I’m too far North
The ice blocks my way
To the sun that breaks the day
Another journey, set forth!

IV

Lush green jungle river
Mountains, forever away
I am so far lost

These people, so kind!
God of Smoke and Fire I go
Far, far, east ocean

Black sand, white, hot snow
Fire flows like honey so sweet
Glass, more sharp than iron

The Mountain speaks thus:
Answer me this, Sailor Boy
Love ye, the Selkie?

No seamfoam is she
No lion of the ocean
A true lass, I see

Thunder rolled; ash falls
I am blind and cannot see
Blind, within the sea

V

So thus again I was lost
At least this time there was no frost
But stranded at sea
Is no place to be
I fear it’s a god I have crossed!

Of deep creatures I must be weary
For clothes of which I have nary
There are dangly bits
And I’ll call it quits
If I lose them before I marry!

The ocean is kind I think
Its her most loyal she likes to sink
Or so I’ve been told
By my mum so old
Who was always one to drink

VI

And south the wild winds blew
So strong, so warm for me
It was then that I knew
Exactly where I might be

The wind was kind, though it took long
For my craft to be complete
Years on the island, singing stranded song
The challenge of the gods I did beat!

At last, my love, I come to thee
Weary from years of travel
Across the world to set you free
The witch’s curse to unravel

“I am here my dear, your sailor boy!
Slay the witch, did I
Defeat her tricks and evil ploy
So together, we might die!”

The reef so well I knew was there
Far off in front of me
Her song I hear, the maiden fair
Silver scales within the sea

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